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Captain America #384: Review

Apr 1991
Mark Gruenwald, Ron Lim

Story Name:

Lair of the Ice-Worm

Review & Comments

4 stars

Captain America #384 Review by (January 10, 2016)
Comments: The Golden Age Jack Frost was one of the first characters created by Stan Lee and he debuted in Timely’s U.S.A. COMICS #1, an ice man with an unknown past; in the 1970s he was shown to have been part of the 1940s-era Liberty Legion in MARVEL PRIEMIERE #29-30 and INVADERS #6; this issue is his only appearance in a comic set in the present day. He is not related to the early Iron Man villain of the same name who later called himself Blizzard.

Review: Now I’m not a big fan of Ron Lim’s art—and the opening pages are not his best but I was captivated by the arctic scenes: Lim’s portrayal of the ice-worm and Jack Frost are exactly what the plot called for: these drawings look cold. As for the story I’ve always had a soft sport for tales of heroic sacrifice which is what I believe ultimately defines a hero. Plus, good use is made of an obscure Golden Age character. It even makes up for the dumb discovery that Cap has regained his powers after six drug-free issues: why did they even bother? But then it gave Ron Lim the reason to do a brief recap of Bucky’s death in a nice monochrome (also a shout-out to colorist Steve Buccellato).


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Captain America #384 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

During a regular physical from Avengers physician Dr. Kincaid, Captain America learns that the Super-Soldier Serum has regenerated in his body since having it removed in issue #378. Cap and the Doc wonder whether it could be the exposure to extreme cold, first when he spent years on ice, and recently when he tried to rescue D-Man in #349. By some coincidence, Peggy Carter informs Cap that a tabloid is reporting that a man frozen in ice in the Arctic is being worshipped by Eskimos. On the possibility that D-Man has been found, Cap has John Jameson fly him to the Arctic where they show him the outline of a man in a frozen mound. Cap hammers at it with his shield as the Eskimos warn in their language that the man keeps the ice demon at bay. The mound cracks—and reveals that it is a portion of a gigantic ice-worm, newly wakened and very angry. Cap radios for help from Thor and battles the monster; he ends up riding it like a bull until it sucks him into its gullet. In the icy interior Cap finds the other man before blacking out….

Cap awakens to find he has been rescued from the ice-worm by a former colleague of his: Jack Frost of the Liberty Legion. After the war he was searching for his identity when he tricked the worm into swallowing him then freezing the monster’s heart, thus sacrificing himself to defeat the worm. Now Cap’s arrival has allowed him to escape—but the Ice-Worm is free too. Cap and Jack Frost battle the giant creature in vain—until Jack Frost again gives his life to trap the worm all over again. Thor arrives to find he is too late to the rescue; Cap relates the story and it all seems familiar to the God of Thunder. Cap bears tribute to the heroic Jack Frost, unaware that D-Man is frozen not too far away…. 

Ron Lim
Danny Bulanadi
Steve Buccelatto
Ron Lim (Cover Penciler)
Danny Bulanadi (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)


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